Stack of fresh, ripe, organic strawberries on a white background.
Keep Strawberry Stems And Leaves For Your Next Favorite Drink Infusion
By Betsy Parks
The USDA estimates that Americans throw away 30% to 40% of their yearly food supply, meaning now’s as good a time to start finding ways of re-purposing old food scraps. Due to heavy 2022 spring rains in California, the cost of strawberries has risen, so here are some excellent infusion tricks for your drinks that put your discarded strawberry stems and leaves to great use.
A strawberry’s leaves and stems are filled with flavor and can be harvested by infusing them in a pitcher of ice water for a few minutes, soaking them in vinegar for a few hours, or steeping your spirits with the strawberry parts for at least a couple of days. The key to infusing is to make sure your stems and hulls get enough contact time with whatever liquid you want to flavor.
To make simple syrup, add the strawberry bits to some water and sugar heating on the stove, simmer for five to ten minutes, then strain before storing. You can also freeze your strawberry water into fancy ice cubes with a slice of berry to pop into a water bottle, jazz up a glass of lemonade, or add a special touch in a summer cocktail.